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Industry Overview

Road transport is divided into freight and passenger services. Freight services include all transport companies involved in transporting any type of freight, delivery services and furniture removal services via road; truck hire with driver, taxi truck services with driver and pilot escort vehicles. Passenger services include coaches, buses, taxis, limousines, and small charter vehicles.

The road transport industry has the largest and heaviest road-legal vehicles in the world. It has been estimated that there are 65,000 prime movers registered in WA. The national total freight task is projected to nearly double between 2014 and 2030 greatly increasing the demand for heavy vehicles and drivers.

Approximately 96 per cent of the freight task in WA is intrastate, with only one per cent interstate by road. Although large national companies dominate the road transport industry, based on their size, 80 per cent of companies are made up of owner drivers and small to medium enterprises.

Over 95 per cent of Australia’s road freight is carried in heavy vehicles, ie vehicles weighing 4.5 tonnes or more. Articulated trucks accounted for around 78 per cent and heavy rigid trucks approximately 18 per cent of total road freight, and these shares are little changed over the last decade or so (ABS 2013). B-double heavy vehicle combinations are now the most significant road freight vehicle combination, accounting for around 40 per cent of total road freight in 2011–12.

The Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA) is responsible for the operation of all bus services in the greater metropolitan area through commercial contract arrangements under the Transperth brand. It also operates public transport services and road coach services to regional areas under the Transwa brand. The PTA also administers and manages School Bus Services (SBS). There are currently 853 orange school buses and 1731 independent licensed tour buses in WA. More than 28,000 school-aged children use the free orange school bus service.

It is estimated that there are 2,200 taxis in WA, half of which are privately owned, with the remainder being Government leased. The taxi industry in WA records approximately 26 million boardings per year.

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